One item I invested in before I left my job was Global Entry. I was on the fence about it for a year. I wasn’t sure if it was worth my time and effort to spend $100. Global Entry is card that gets Americans a “front of the line” pass when coming from international flights and a “front of the line” pass going through security when flying domestically.
The application process is similar to a job security clearance screening. You will have to give information on your job, you previous addresses, income and other similar information. I had most of it already since I had to have it for my defense contracting job, so it wasn’t that inconvenient. If approved, the $100 fee is valid for 5 years. I was approved within a month and then kept checking the interview website for openings for a few days before I got my appointment. Within another week of the interview I got my shiny ID card.
My passport automatically is recognized in the global entry machine. So when I got back from Iceland, I skipped the line and got to the VERY EMPTY global entry section. Even after I got my luggage, there was a separate customs line for global entry, so I got to skip that line as well.
For my domestic flight, I had to input my Global Entry Redress number into my southwest profile. After I got my boarding pass I noticed my very cool “TSA Precheck” note on the top. Woot woot! So my journey from curbside to Airport boarding area was 5 minutes.
What did my $100 get me? A Fast pass for all American airports for the nest 5 years. An express pass for universal studios is $84.99 a year. The cost of this global entry is a fraction of the cost of the theme park one. I don’t know why more people don’t get it.
If you are a high credit card user, you can also get the Citi Prestige card. The cost of the card is $450. Pretty steep. You can get a $100 credit for Global entry and another $250 annual travel credit. So really the cost of the card is $100 annually. If you are already gonna spend the $100 on the global entry and buy a plane ticket, it might be worth it just to get the card anyways.